Today's inspiration for a green green lunch came to me from our veg patch. Sometimes during the day I think I can hear the lettuce leaves bending towards the sun, and every visit to the tomatoes sees them growing another few millimetres. So whilst we aren't harvesting yet, I was definitely in the mood for a healthy start to the week, and when I spotted fresh vicia faba at KPS, my mind was made up. It's also a topical vegetable to be dining on in Kenya right now - did you know that in Ancient Rome and Greece, beans were used in voting. A white bean was used to cast the yes vote, and a black bean for no.
Coomete Farm has started to sell fresh packaged broad beans at KPS. They need nothing more than a quick steam or boil, but I had been thinking about how to complement them with a subtle yet tangy dressing. I found my inspiration through mint, whose close friend lemon would add a sharpness to offset the sweetness of a perfect broad bean. To add some crunch and a slightly burnt scent to the dressing, I employed the flavour of some dry fried mustard seeds. Served with asparagus, a couple of slices of ham, and some Emmental, this lunch is now a firm favourite.
Green Green Broad Beans
- Fresh broad beans - preferably straight out of their pods
- A few sprigs of mint
- Juice of one lemon (or lime depending on what you prefer)
- 1 tablespoon of mustard seed - dry fried
- Olive oil
Steam your beans above boiling water for approximately five minutes. Remove and whilst they cool, make your dressing, which needs to coat the beans rather than drown them. Start with the juice of your lemon. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Dry fry your mustard seeds (I recommend a non-stick pan, and keep moving them around so they don't stick). The seeds will try and jump out of your pan when they are ready, so remove from the heat and allow to cool whilst you finish off the dressing and beans. Strip your sprigs of mint and tear up the leaves, add to your dressing along with a scrunch of pepper and a pinch of salt. Add the mustard seeds.
When the beans have cooled a little, undress them out of their jackets. You can leave the jackets on but they are sweeter and less chewy when naked. Slip the beans out of their jackets (skins) and re-coat them with your minty tangy dressing.
Serve with freshly steamed asparagus spears (they also benefit from being dressed), a couple of slices of ham and some Emmental. Yum.
For delicious vegetables, contact Coomeete Farm on firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone on +254 20 201 8010 / +254 720 257 912.